Located at the foot of Mt. Hiei, in eastern Kyoto, Enkoji Temple is one of many temples that dot this part of town. It is a short walk from either Manshuin or Shisendo.
Enkoji was founded in 1601 by Tokugawa Ieyasu in Fushimi, in the southern part of the city. Its stated mission was to promote learning and scholarship in Japan.
Thus, both monks and laymen were allowed as students.
The temple was moved to its current location in 1667.
Enkoji has a small hall in which images and other items are displayed. This is on your right as you enter.
Within this is a six-panel byobu, or screen, painted by painted by Ohkyo Maruyama.
Inside the main hall of the temple itself is an amazing fusuma screen (pictured at left).
The garden too is lovely. The small statue of a boy resting, two mice watching him, is at the north end of the garden.
Both spring and fall are ideal times to visit.
From Ichijoji Station on the Eiden Railways, walk east toward the hills in the distance (Mt. Hiei). Cross Shirakawa Dori (street) and continue straight. Walk up the slope. On your right you will come to the gate of Shisendo. Enkoji is down the narrow street you passed just before getting to Shisendo. 2-3 minutes down this street on the right. There are signs. Alternatively take a number #5 bus from Kyoto Station and get off at the Ichijoji-sagarimatsu-cho bus stop.
Open 9 - 4:30 pm. 400 yen for adults.
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Friday, June 20, 2008